The Critical Edition of the Works of C.G. Jung

This multi-year publishing project will make vibrant new translations of C.G. Jung’s writing available in a 26-volume critical edition, organized chronologically and with an extensive scholarly apparatus.

As the longtime publisher of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung in North America, Princeton University Press is honored to be global publisher of the Critical Edition, having recently secured world language rights and the support from the Foundation for the Works of C. G. Jung in Zürich, who will be facilitating and guiding access to documents and letters and providing its expertise to this major undertaking based on family archives. 

Work on the project will begin on April 1, 2024 with ensuing volumes published in chronological order and in cloth and ebook formats. 

We invite you to learn more about this exciting project here, explore contents of the first four volumes, read the press release, and sign up to receive updates.

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What is a critical edition?

Jung’s Collected Works, which formed the template for editions of Jung’s work in all languages, was a contemporary edition, rather than a scholarly edition. Its aim—which it succeeded in—was to make Jung’s works available to the public as quickly as possible. This alone was a monumental undertaking, spanning from 1945 to 1979.

By contrast, this new edition of Jung’s works will be a critical edition. This is a commonly used term to designate an edition of an author’s works that is a scholarly and carefully prepared version of the author’s writings, which aims to provide readers with a reliable and accurate representation of the original texts. The term “critical” in this context doesn’t imply any negative judgment; rather, it indicates a thorough analysis and evaluation of the source material.

Critical editions generally comprise:

Textual Variants: The editors of a critical edition analyze different versions of the text, such as manuscripts, early printed editions, or later editions, to determine the most authentic and authoritative version, and, where texts have significant revisions, often present texts in variorum form, noting all the changes between editions. By carefully examining and comparing iterations different of the texts, editors aim to present authoritative and accurate versions that serve as a reliable basis for scholarly study and appreciation of the author’s work.

Annotations: Critical editions often include extensive footnotes or annotations that provide explanations, historical context, linguistic notes, and other relevant information to help readers better understand the text.

Introductions: Critical editions typically begin with an introduction that provides background information about the author, the historical context of the work and its reception, and details about the editorial decisions made during the preparation of the edition.

Appendixes: Where relevant, additional materials, such as related documents, letters, or fragments, are included in the form of appendixes to provide a broader context for the author’s works.

All these features will be present in this edition. The work done in any field of study is dependent upon the quality of the editions of its primary texts. The Critical Edition of the Works of C. G. Jung seeks to provide this for generations to come.

Why have variorum presentations of texts?

Through the course of his career, Jung frequently revised his works and published different versions of essays in different contexts. Except for a few instances, the editors of the Collected Works chose as a matter of policy to include what they took to be the final version of a particular work. However, what constituted a ”final” version was not always clear. The consequence has been that historically critical formulations and statements of Jung are simply not to be found in the Collected Works. One example is Jung’s pivotal 1917 book, The Psychology of the Unconscious Processes: The New Method and Theory of Analytical Psychology, which presented his first overview of the new conceptions and practice that he had developed through the period of his confrontation with the unconscious. A reader of Jung’s Symbols of Transformation is unable to ascertain whether a particular passage was written in 1912 or in 1952 when he had developed a radically different perspective to his earlier neopsychoanalytic reductionism. Consequently, with the Collected Works, one is frequently unable to ascertain when a particular passage was written, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to study the development of his work on the basis of the Collected Works. This has given rise to a “nonvintage” mode of reading Jung, mixing together conflicting theoretical models from different epochs of his career, and obscuring the coherence of the unfolding of his work. Variorum presentations of texts enable scholars to follow the evolution of Jung’s thought, and to understand statements in their precise contexts.

What is the value of introductions and scholarly apparatuses?

Approximately 35 percent of each volume in the Critical Edition will comprise the introductions and scholarly apparatus, including a detailed chronology of Jung’s activities during the period in question, the background for his theoretical work, and the debates he was engaged in, together with introductory notes to each item. These will draw on extensive research in Jung’s archives, correspondences, case files (where available), annotations in the books in his library, and other holdings in public and private archives, which will present a wealth of hitherto unknown information.

At a distance ranging between three quarters and one and a quarter centuries, many of the figures mentioned by Jung are unknown or little known to contemporary readers. The footnotes will provide information about them, as well as contextualize debates that Jung was engaged in. Jung was a prolific writer, an avid reader, a creative artist, and a great conversationalist. He had the ability to engage with a written text or a work of art deeply and recurrently, on different levels, in different contexts, and to different audiences. This turns Jung’s experience of such texts or works into fluid and constantly evolving dialogues—such as his understanding of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, his frequent referring to Hölderlin and Goethe’s poems, as well as his constant use of mythology, primitive art, eastern and western religions, and, at a later stage, alchemy. Direct citations from, or implicit references to, such texts or works permeate Jung’s published and unpublished writings. Moreover, the meanings of those citations or references are strictly dependent upon the context (personal annotations, seminars, talks, or published writings), and citations or references are often added, removed, expanded, or changed from one edition to the next. A critical edition facilitates scholarly reading in that it brings those citations and references to their original context, while revealing their evolution over the years and through different contexts. 

The combined introductions and apparatus of the Critical Edition will effectively form a contextual intellectual biography of Jung. As such, it will form the basis of all subsequent scholarship on Jung. 

Why were Jung’s Collected Works incomplete?

The prospectus for Jung’s Collected Works was established in 1945. It was only after Jung’s death in 1961 that his manuscript cupboard was looked through which revealed copious hitherto unknown works. In 1964, it was decided to leave the bulk of these works to one side, despite the protestations of the editors, Gerhard Adler and Michael Fordham. The Collected Works was completed in 1979, while a separate undertaking to edit Jung’s seminars commenced. It was only in 1993 that a comprehensive catalog of Jung’s manuscripts at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, was made. Subsequently, a number of additional items have come to light. The Critical Edition will contain all of this further material.

Will the Critical Edition contain all the material in the Collected Works?

While some material in the Collected Works might have been better placed in the C. G. Jung Letters volumes or in the Jung Seminar series, no material will be deselected, as all of it will benefit from being represented in a new form in the Critical Edition.

Why a new translation?

It is common practice for literary and philosophical works, if they are long-lived, to be retranslated multiple times. If one considers the works of a figure such as Nietzsche, the translations in English are now in their third generation. With Freud, new English translations have been released in recent years, and the Standard Edition is being revised. Translations are widely acknowledged to age more quickly than original works, and each new translation represents an opportunity for a new aspect of the work to be revealed.

The decision to translate Jung’s works anew in full rather than merely revise them has been undertaken in part due to certain shortcomings in the English translations of the Collected Works. These shortcomings have been acknowledged by several scholars over the decades since their publication, including Marie-Louise von Franz, Paul Bishop, and Sonu Shamdasani. It goes without saying that R.F.C. Hull, the translator of the majority of the Collected Works, reached a monumental achievement. Hull was an atheist, rationalist, and poet—not epithets that one would associate with Jung. His translations in the Collected Works are fluent and readable. However, his work has been found to contain inaccuracies, semantic misunderstandings, inconsistencies of terminology, and mistranslations. In addition, Hull apparently felt it was his task to improve the source text, and, moreover, deliberately attempted to rationalize Jung’s texts.  Marie-Louise von Franz noted the multimodal nature of Jung’s writings through his use of metaphors, allusions, associations, and etymological references, and claimed that this double aspect was not preserved in Hull’s translations.

Hull and other translators were in the position to consult Jung on occasion in case of questions or uncertainties, though Jung took a “hands off” approach to translations of his work. On the other hand, greater distance from the source texts can open the way for greater clarity and impartiality. In addition, the translator of today has the benefit of modern research tools and resources not available to translators of earlier generations, as well as developments in translation practice. The primary intention of the new translation is to be as authentic as possible to what Jung wrote, producing semantically accurate texts at the same time as capturing the above mentioned multiple layers of Jung’s writings. A new translation will make Jung’s writings more understandable and accessible to a contemporary audience.

Walter Benjamin wrote that translation proceeds from the “afterlife” or “survival” of the original, and that the translation which is later than the original indicates that the work has reached the stage of its “continuing life.” Interest in Jung has grown considerably in recent years, especially among the younger generation in the United States and elsewhere. The availability of fresh new translations will help to keep Jung’s ideas alive and relevant for years to come, ultimately breathing new life into the texts for future generations of readers and ensuring the works’ continuing life.

Volume 1

Jung in Basel: Philosophy, Science and Spiritualism, 1896–1898

Edited by Gaia Domenici

As a medical student at the University of Basel, Jung was a member of the Zofingia Society, a student fraternity, becoming its president in 1897. Between 1896 and 1899, he delivered four lectures there. His discussions of empirical psychology, natural science, philosophy, spiritualism, metaphysics, and religion anticipate and illumine his later work. We see Jung attempting to reconcile his studies in medicine and the sciences with his religious and metaphysical interests. In these lectures, Jung criticized the prevailing materialist outlook in the sciences, arguing for the existence of a life principle that could not be reduced to matter, and for the possibility of the postmortem existence of the soul, while adhering to the methodology of the sciences. This volume presents Jung’s lectures together with the hitherto unpublished discussions that followed. It also includes transcripts of several of his seances with his cousin Helene Preiswerk, which he later consulted for his medical dissertation. From 1898 onward, Jung kept an unpublished diary, in which Jung continued his reflections on philosophical, literary, and religious topics, including discussions of the aesthetics of music. This volume presents excerpts from this diary, together with an unpublished piece he wrote on Tolstoy’s novel Resurrection.

Projected Publication: Fall 2026

Volume 2

Jung at the Burghölzli: Psychical Research and Psychiatry, 1901–1904

Edited by Sonu Shamdasani

At the end of 1900, Jung took up his post as an assistant physician at the Burghölzli Hospital, which was the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Zurich. As he later recalled, he wanted to uncover “the hidden intruders in the mind” and study the unconscious phenomena of the psychoses. This volume contains two major studies: his medical dissertation and first book, On the Psychology and Pathology of so-called Occult Phenomena, and an unpublished study of a renowned trance medium Wilhelmine Fässler. In these works, he attempted to show that spiritualistic phenomena could be understood on the basis of the psychology of the unconscious. The first presented a psychological reinterpretation of his seances with his cousin Helene Preiswerk (see volume 1), particularly drawing from the work of Pierre Janet and Théodore Flournoy. Here, he viewed the figure that emerged in her trances as an attempt of her future personality to emerge. His study of Wilhelmine Fässler shows his developing use of word associations to study reactions, alongside soliciting responses to music and paintings. In other studies in this volume, Jung explores twilight states, such as the simulation of insanity, hysterical misreading, the relation between hysteria and prison psychosis, manic mood disorders, and the reemergence of unrecognized memories (cryptomnesia).

Projected Publication: Spring 2027

Volume 3

Jung at the Burghölzli: Experimental Psychopathology, 1904–1906

Edited by Martin Liebscher

Looking back at the genealogy of his work, Jung regarded the association experiment as the actual beginning of his scientific endeavor. The period from 1904 to 1906 can be regarded as the heyday of his empirical research centered around the application and further development of the diagnostic association experiment. He set up a laboratory for experimental psychopathology at the Burghölzli, was promoted to senior physician at the clinic, and became a lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Zurich. The research undertaken during this period would establish Jung as a leading light in European psychiatry, resulting in international invitations from institutions such as the Clark University in 1909 to present his work and receive honorary degrees. The association experiment was widely acclaimed for providing precise quantitative measures for emotional states. It formed the basis of Jung’s complex theory, which subsequently enabled Jung to connect his psychopathological experiments with Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. This volume contains five of the six contributions to Jung’s Diagnostic Association Studies (1906), thus allowing today’s reader to view these articles for the first time in the original context of Jung’s theoretical development, alongside his ongoing interest in phenomena of spiritualistic nature and cryptomnesia, and his attempt to use in-depth clinical investigation, incorporating psychoanalysis, as an explanatory tool for the results of his experiments.

Projected Publication: Fall 2027

About the project team

Sonu Shamdasani is Professor in Jung History in the School for European Languages, Culture and Society at University College London (UCL), and Vice-Dean (Health) of the Arts and Humanities Faculty, as well as co-director of the UCL Health Humanities Centre. His works include Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science; C.G. Jung: A Biography in Books and with Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, The Freud Files: An Inquiry into the History of Psychoanalysis. He is the editor and co-translator of Jung’s The Red Book: Liber Novus and Jung’s The Black Books 1913-1932: Notebooks of Transformation and the editor of Jung’s, The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga: Notes of the Seminar given in 1932, and The Protocols for Memories, Dreams, Reflections (in press).

Caitlin Stephens is a professional translator well versed in Jung’s work, who is a Jungian analyst-in-Training, studying at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. She is the translator of Volume 7 of Jung’s ETH lectures on the Exercitia Spiritualia of Ignatius of Loyola. She previously worked as a Translation Manager at the University of Zurich Communications Office before assuming the role of full-time translator for the Critical Edition.

Astrid Freuler is an independent professional translator who has worked for the University of Zurich, among many clients, and will proof the translations.

Gaia Domenici earned her PhD at the University of Pisa with a study on Jung and Nietzsche. She is the author of Jung’s Nietzsche: Zarathustra, The Red Book, and “Visionary” Works, and the editor of Phânes: Journal for Jung History.

Martin Liebscher is an associate professor in the School of European Languages, Culture and Society at University College London. His works include Libido und Wille zur Macht: C.G. Jungs Auseinandersetzung mit NietzscheHe is the editor of Jung’s Psychology of Yoga and Meditation: Lectures Delivered at ETH Zurich, Volume 6: 1938–1940; Jung on Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises: Lectures Delivered at ETH Zurich, Volume 7: 1939–1940; and Analytical Psychology in Exile: The Correspondence of C. G. Jung and Erich Neumann, and co-editor and co-translator of Jung’s The Psychology of Alchemy: Lectures Delivered at ETH Zurich, Volume 8: 1940-1941 (in press). 

Christopher Wagner holds degrees in history from Northwestern University and the University of Cambridge. His doctoral dissertation focused on the foundations and first articulations of Jung’s alchemical thought. He is editor of Jung’s Lectures at Polzeath on the Technique of Analysis and the Historical and Psychological Effects of Christianity (1923) (in preparation) and co-editor and co-translator of Jung’s The Psychology of Alchemy: Lectures Delivered at ETH Zurich, Volume 8: 1940-1941 (in press).